Edirne, in the Thrace Region, is a fantastic place to visit. It’s known for its long row of caravanserais, impressive mosques that tell the story of the Ottoman era, historic baths, and friendly locals.
Every time you go there, you’ll discover something new thanks to its rich history and natural beauty. It’s a truly special city that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. There are so many amazing things to do and places to explore in Edirne!
Check out our list of best things to do in Edirne :
Table of Contents
1. Visit Historical Places in Edirne
Although the exact construction year of Enez Castle, located on a high hill, is not known, the building materials used on its walls indicate that the structure was built before the Byzantine period. According to historian Prokopios, the castle was built to prevent dangers from the Balkans, and according to some sources, AD. VI. It is said to have been repaired by Justinian in the 16th century. You can see the building, located in Enez, the coastal region of Edirne’s Keşan district, during an Enez getaway that you can add to your Edirne visit.
Rustem Pasha Caravanserai
The Rustem Pasha Caravanserai, situated in the heart of Edirne, is a remarkable example of Ottoman architecture. Built by the renowned Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, this caravanserai features two-story rooms arranged around rectangular courtyards. The building, known for its charming courtyards, underwent renovation in 1972 and was transformed into a hotel.
In recognition of its architectural significance, the Caravanserai received the Aga Khan Architecture Award in 1980. With its central location, it’s a must-visit spot in Edirne, easily accessible and offering a glimpse into the city’s rich history and architectural heritage.
Hıdırlık Bastion, which played an important role in the defense of Edirne during the Balkan War, is one of the places you should see in Edirne . The bastion, which was the headquarters of Edirne Defender Şükrü Pasha, attracts great attention from recent history enthusiasts.
2. Must-See Mosques in Edirne
Selimiye Mosque, one of the most beautiful works of Ottoman architecture, is one of the places you should see in Edirne. II. It is known that the construction of the mosque, which Selim I had built by Mimar Sinan, started in 1568. The mosque, which Mimar Sinan called “my masterwork”, is the most successful example of the 8-pillar mosque plan. In the large outer courtyard of the mosque, which fascinates its visitors with its architecture as well as decorative arts such as stone, marble, tiles, and wooden mother-of-pearl; There are Darül-Sübyan, Darül-Kur’a and Darül-Hadis structures.
Located in the center of Edirne, the Old Mosque is one of the most important mosques you can visit in Edirne . According to the inscription on the side door; Its architect was Hacı Alaaddin from Konya and his journeyman was Ömer ibn-i İbrahim. Although the construction of the mosque, which is the oldest surviving monumental structure from the Ottoman Period, started in 1403 during the reign of Sultan Suleiman, it was completed in 1414 during the reign of Çelebi Sultan Mehmet.
Üç Şerefeli Mosque
Sultan II. Üç Şerefeli Mosque, built by Murat, is one of the most important places of worship in the Islamic world. The mosque, which is known to have been built between 1443 and 1447, is one of the first examples of the transition from the multi-domed period to the single-domed period in Seljuk architecture. The mosque, which had the largest minarets until the Selimiye Mosque was built, should be on your list of must-see places in Edirne with its original hand-carved work on its domes and colored glass.
3. Best Tourist Attractions of Edirne
Karaağaç Train Station
Karaağaç Train Station, built during the reign of Abdulhamid I, today serves as the Trakya University Rectorate Building . The architect of the station, which was built by taking the Sirkeci Train Station in Istanbul as an example, is Architect Kemalettin Bey. You should definitely see Karaağaç Train Station, where a wagon is exhibited in the garden, during your visit to Edirne.
The Selimiye Arasta, built by Murat II to support the Selimiye Mosque’s finances, was designed by the accomplished architect Davut Ağa, known for his contributions to various Ottoman-era buildings. This arasta spans an impressive 256 meters in length and boasts 73 arches. Remarkably, it remains in operation to this day.
Visitors can explore a wide range of shops within the Arasta, offering diverse options, from souvenirs to clothing, making it an excellent place for shopping while experiencing the historical charm of the area.
Saraçlar Street, one of the most crowded spots in Edirne, is considered the heart of the city. There are many shops, cafes, and confectionery shops on the street, which was closed to vehicle traffic in 2008. Exhibitions are also held and concerts are held on the street, which you should definitely visit during your visit to Edirne, at certain times of the year. If you come across this period, you can add a pleasant experience to your Edirne holiday.
Justice Pavilion, the only surviving part of the Edirne Palace , is located in the Sarayiçi district. It is said that the sultan wrote his famous laws in the building, which was added to the palace during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. If you are interested in Ottoman history, you can visit this beautiful building belonging to the Edirne Palace.
4. Beaches of Edirne
Did you know that there are many beaches where you can swim in Edirne? You can swim in the sea and sunbathe on the warm beaches throughout the summer at Edirne beaches, many of which are located in the Keşan district. The most important of these beaches is Enez Beach. If your visit to Edirne coincides with the summer months, you can spare a day for Enez and enjoy the cool waters to your heart’s content. Let us also note here that there are buses from Edirne Bus Terminal to Enez in the early morning hours in the summer months.
Yayla Beach is a cute and charming holiday resort in Keşan. The coastline, where its natural beauty remains intact, is frequently visited by people from Edirne and Keşan. If you have a long Edirne holiday, you should definitely see the Plateau, where the sea water is very clean due to the countercurrent. In fact, if you visit Yayla Beach, which also hosts a fishing port, you can hop on one of the fishing boats and tour Saros Bay .
One of the most beautiful beaches where you can swim in Edirne is Erikli Beach. You can easily find a bus throughout the summer to Erikli Beach, which you can reach from Edirne with a journey that takes about 2 hours. In Erikli, which is more lively than other Edirne beaches, the nightlife is also quite lively. There are many bays around the coast, which attract attention with its clean seawater.
İbrice Bay, located in Mecidiye Village of Keşan Municipality, is one of the most special spots of Saros Gulf. Saros Bay, known for its self-cleaning feature, has its share of this feature, and 144 species of fish and 78 species of sea plants live in the bay. Scuba and non-scuba diving is possible in the bay, which is as rich as Kaş and Kalkan with its underwater richness. If you are interested in diving, you can take a break from your visit to Edirne and spend a few days in İbrice Bay.